JANUARY – MARCH
Mardi Gras at Auburn University Montgomery
Each year in early February, Auburn University Montgomery stages its own Mardi Gras celebration with a parade, plenty of free Mardi Gras throws, food, fireworks and more. (334) 244-3000.
Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration in Prattville
Beginning at the Stanley-Jensen Stadium to the Autauga County Courthouse, this annual parade ends with music and food. (334) 358-0297. www.prattville.com
Held in late winter or early spring at the Montgomery Zoo, it is the major annual fund-raiser for the zoo. Along with the zoo’s more than 700 animals, birds and reptiles, visitors can see live entertainment (usually major acts), ride the zoo train, enjoy food at the Cafe and shop among vending booths. Meet the newest members of the zoo family, the Elephants! (334) 240-4900.
Fountain City Arts Festival in Prattville
Fun-filled day of hands-on experiences and demonstrations by artists, musicians and dancers from the greater Southeastern U.S. This festival is kicked off by a formal dinner on Friday. It is held in March at Spinners Park, W. Sixth St. (334) 358-0297. www.prattville.com
Southeastern Livestock Exposition Rodeo
Held over several days during March at Garrett Coliseum, it features rodeo events, such as bull riding, and livestock shows. Some of the topcowboys & cowgirls in rodeo come every year to prepare for the national championship. Event is more than 50 years old. (888)2RODEO2. www.bamabeef.org/rodeo.htm
Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic
For over 60 years, Montgomery has hosted this collegiate tennis tournament featuring teams from USC, Pepperdine, Notre Dame, Harvard, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, as well as local favorites Alabama and Auburn. It is traditionally held in March at O’Connor and Lagoon Park. (334) 240-4051.www.bluegraytennis.com
Jewish Food Festival & Treasure Market
Festival featuring Jewish specialty dishes, a market, Sanctuary Tours and sessions. Usually held in March at Temple Beth Or. 2246 Narrow Land Road. (334) 262-3314.
Fountain City Arts Festival in Prattville
Formal dinner kicks-off this festival on Friday night. Free admission to the festival on Saturday at Pratt Park. Experience the art forms: dance, music, fine arts, folk art, photography and heritage arts. Usually held in March. (334) 358-0297. www.prattville.com
APRIL – JUNE
Held the first Saturday in May at Blount Cultural Park, the festival is a celebration of art, creativity, imagination and humor. It features a wide variety of art-related activities, live music and children’s activities. It is a family-oriented, outdoors event. (334) 244-5700.
For over 20 years, Prattville has helds its largest arts and crafts show in May. The weekend kicks-off with a concert on Friday night and has plenty of food and musical entertainment for the weekend. (334) 365-7392.www.prattvillecityfest.com
Battle of Selma Re-enactment
The Blue & Gray clash once again in this civil war battle in Mid-April on Battlefield Park. School tours, camp dance and a grand ball fill the weekend activities list. (800) 45-SELMA. www.BattleOfSelma.com
Held each spring in downtown Montgomery, it is the city’s largest entertainment event of the year. It features non-stop musical entertainment from some of the country’s best-known artists, ArtsFest, KidsFest, the Jubilee CityFest run, Big Band concert, Montgomery Symphony Orchestra pops concert, food booths, etc.
Live bands perform on several stages set up in the downtown area. More than 150,000 people attend each year. Call (334) 834-7220. www.jubileecityfest.com
Celebrated for over 30 years at the Montgomery Zoo, this special weekend features special entertainment, camel & pony rides and is attended by over 20,000 people. (334) 240-4900
Alabama Book Festival
The Alabama Book Festival, the top literary event for the Year of Alabama Arts. The event will feature more than fifty nationally recognized writers, book appraisers, book artists, illustrators, publishers, and performers will be on site. Special offerings include book give-aways, children’s activities, a Southern Writers’ Project premiere, and Alabama Public Television’s Reading Rainbow awards. It is held in April at Old Alabama Town. (334) 844-4946 www.AlabamaBookCenter.org
Southern Writer’s Project
At the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, this weekend celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the southern storyteller and the African-American experience. Attend all or part of the weekend that promises an irresistible menu of theatre, delicious food, Southern hospitality and a chance to mingle with friends and theatre professionals. (334) 271-5334. www.SouthernWritersProject.net
JULY – SEPTEMBER
Sounds of Summer Concert Series
The Montgomery Jazz Federation and Old Alabama Town sponsor this series of three or four concerts featuring jazz and blues acts. Shows are between June and August and admission is cheap, usually $2. You can bring a cooler and chairs and sit back and enjoy the sounds of summer. (334) 240-4500.http://www.ajbf.com
Kid Fish Fest in Prattville
Usually in June, this fun filled day of Pratt park is for kids through age 15. Free tickets available. www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-adventures/fishing.cfm
Montgomery Lagoon Park Kid Fishing Event
Usually in June, this fun filled fishing day at Lagoon Park is for kids. www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-adventures/fishing.cfm
Fourth of July Firework Shows
- Montgomery’s annual fireworks show is sponsored by the City of Montgomery. It features a night of 5,000 pounds of fireworks being displayed. (334) 241-2300.
- Wetumpka’s fireworks show is held each July Fourth about 9 p.m. at Gold Star Park on the Coosa River.
- Prattville begins the celebration in the morning with a parade through downtown into Pratt Park. They continue the day with cardboard sailboat races, homemade ice cream contests , festivities and food vendors. The fireworks conclude the day. www.Prattville.com
Broadway Under the Stars
Held in the early fall at the Blount Cultural Park lakeside, this free concert by the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra usually attracts more than 10,000 people to hear Broadway show tunes and pop classics. (334) 240-4004. www.MontgomerySymphony.org
Stars & Stripes Classic Car Extravaganza
Held at the Wetumpka High School – Look at cars, listen to music, enjoy food and have a good time on a beautiful summer day. (334) 590-6360
Navistar LPGA Classic
The Navistar LPGA Classic is a multimillion dollar event featuring the full field of professional LPGA golfers. This nationally televised tournament will be played at the Senator Course at the Capitol Hill location of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Prattville. (800) 949-4444. www.rtjgolf.com
Alabama Highland Games
Each September, thousands come to Blount Cultural Park to this celebration of Scottish heritage. There are demonstrations and exhibits of Scottish country dancing, music, food, Border collies and more. Athletes also square off in native competitions such as the caber toss. (334) 272-2174. www.alabamahighlandgames.com
The Alabama Jazz and Blues Federation presents this one-evening festival each September at the Union Station Train Shed and Riverfront Amphitheater. Patrons can enjoy some top acts in blues, zydeco and swing music. (334) 263-2523. www.ajbf.com
OCTOBER – DECEMBER
Riverfront Arts & Food Festival
Montgomery’s Riverfront Park is the site of this family-oriented arts and crafts show usually held the first Saturday in October. It features food, entertainment and a special children’s area. Voted one of the top 200 Best Arts Events in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine. (334) 241-2300.www.festivalinthepark.com
Alabama National Fair
Each October, Garrett Coliseum comes alive with live musical acts, a circus, pig racing and diving, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, food booths and carnival rides and games. There also are exhibits & competitions of art, photography, flowers, livestock and food.
(334) 272-6831. www.alnationalfair.org
Spinners Pumpkin Patch
This arts and crafts festival is held one weekend each October at Spinners Park, West Sixth Street in Prattville. The event is free and features more than 100 arts and crafts exhibitors, 8K and one-mile fun run, children’s activities and more. (334) 365-7195.
The Montgomery Zoo celebrates Halloween for several days in late October with nightly attractions for the kids leading up to Halloween night. The zoo normally closes at 5 p.m., but it is open from 6-9 p.m. during Zoo Boo so visitors can enjoy haunted train rides, costumed characters, candy and more. (334) 240-4900.
At the Prattville Doster Community Center is an annual shopping event hosted by the Prattville Downtown Unlimited. Held in December it features more than 40 vendors offering everything from clothing, jewelry & accessories to home décor, gift baskets and more.
(334) 365-5486. www.Prattville.com
Junior League Holiday Market
The Garrett Coliseum comes alive with the Christmas spirit for one weekend in late October or early November as the Junior League offers holiday gifts and decorations to raise money for the civic group. 288-8816. www.JuniorLeagueMontgomery.com
Pike Road Arts and Crafts Fair
This annual festival is held the first Saturday in early November at the historic Marks House in the Pike Road community, east of Montgomery. A tradition over 40 years old, this event brings over 11,000 people and features arts and crafts, antiques and children’s activities. (334) 281-6303. www.PikeRoadFair.org
Frontier Days at Fort Toulouse
For one week each November, Fort Toulouse/Jackson Park, off U.S. 231 in Wetumpka, comes alive with costumed re-enactors portraying life as it was at a 1750s French fort. This is a major event for school groups. See French soldiers and settlers, along with Native Americans. There also are frontier-era traders, merchants, performers and musicians. (334) 567-3002.
Turkey Day Classic
Held on Thanksgiving at the Cramton Bowl, this college football game features Alabama State University Hornets and Tuskegee University Tigers. The Turkey Day Parade precedes the game, usually about 9 a.m. in downtown Montgomery.
Holiday Light Festival
From late November to early January, the Montgomery Zoo is aglow with large holiday light sculptures of animals, live performances of holiday music, train rides, pictures with Santa, etc. Zoo hours are expanded to accommodate the nightly show. (334) 240-4900.
Montgomery Christmas Parade
After a seven-year absence, the Capital City renewed its Christmas parade in 2001. The parade begins at the steps of the state Capitol and ends at Court Square. Schools and civic groups participate. For entry forms and more information about the parade, go to: www.montgomeryal.gov
Christmas on the Coosa
Held in December at Gold Star Park and in downtown Wetumpka Courthouse Veranda, the main event is the boat parade at night along the Coosa River. Boats are decorated for the holidays. Other highlights of the festival include arts and crafts, a street parade, food, classic cars, quilts, entertainment and a fireworks show. (334) 567-1313. www.ChristmasontheCoosa.com
Glenn Miller Annual Concert
Held in December at the Montgomery Davis Theatre, the event features the Band of the Air Force Reserves playing classics from the Big Band era as well as holiday favorites. Sponsored by the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and the City of Montgomery with special assistance from the Arts Council.
Living Christmas Tree
Sponsored by the First Baptist Church, this event is held in December and features the church choir, in Christmas tree formation, singing traditional Christmas tunes. 305 S. Perry Street. (334) 834-6310.
Montgomery Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert
Held in December at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts, this concert is the holiday highlight for the Orchestra’s season. (334) 240-4004.
Held in December at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts, the event is the traditional favorite performed by the Montgomery Ballet, Montgomery Youth Ballet and members from the community. (334) 409-0522.www.montgomeryballet.com